Today, I explore the Willamette side of the park, taking in the view upriver toward Oregon City, and downriver toward West Linn. The cottonwoods on the island are hinting at fall color, and milkweed along the river has turned brilliant yellow. I pick a spot in the sun and put up my big easel. Jonathan shows up and paints from a pochade box.
Geese are gathering. They skim the river below us and land gracefully on the moving water. Before long, they will be gathering in large numbers, travelling over our river in long v-shaped flocks. But for now, they are content to socialize on the local sandbar.
Clouds sail across the blue, mostly to the north, leaving us in full sun. I am soaking up the last of the year’s heat. At this time of year, each day is a gift, made more precious by the imminent cold weather. I have a studio paint date tomorrow, which seems like time stolen from outdoor painting. Stay in the moment. Paint now. There is no heat, no cold, no fatigue. Only the brush and the color moving on the canvas.